The Black Show

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A Migration Tale, 2015 (filmed 2014) Single Channel Video © Courtesy the artist and Maccarone, New York
The Black Show
Curated by: Anthony Elms

University of Pennsylvania
118 S. 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3289
February 3rd, 2016 - August 14th, 2016

United States
(215) 898-7108
Wed 11–8; Thu–Fri 11–6; Sat–Sun 11–5
video-art, installation


Rodney McMillian’s (born 1969 Columbia, SC; lives Los Angeles) broad artistic range forms an extended physical meditation on the United States. These sculptures, paintings, room-sized constructions, videos, and performances embody our social fabric in patterns cut by class, economic status, culture, race, gender, and history.

Deeply attuned to the social systems and policy decisions that economically and psychologically shape our bodies, McMillian engages the gestures of these forces directly: going large in scale through small actions, using post-consumer objects to reveal latent ideologies, exposing the violent strata by which a vulnerable citizenship is built. Added to this melting pot, here McMillian draws upon a fascination with science fiction to envision a place where fantastical physical transformation might express the unraveling of social injustices.

In conjunction with the exhibition, an off-site performance with the working title Legislating Ignorance, will offer a return to the directness of the body and language as McMillian engages with history as material to be reformed, recontextualized, and remembered.

Organized by Chief Curator Anthony Elms. The exhibition is presented concurrently with the major solo exhibition Rodney McMillian: Views of Mainstreet (March 24–June 26, 2016) by Naima Keith, Associate Curator, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and the exhibition Rodney McMillian: Landscape Paintings at MoMA PS1 (April 3–August 29, 2016) by Heidi Zuckerman, Nancy and Bob Magoon CEO and Director, Aspen Art Museum. The exhibition is organized at MoMA PS1 by Peter Eleey, Curator and Associate Director of Exhibitions and Programs. A fully illustrated joint catalogue with ICA and The Studio Museum of Harlem will be published in Spring 2016. A catalogue is currently available for Rodney McMillian: Landscape Paintings.

Read the gallery guide (PDF).

Major support for Rodney McMillian: The Black Show has been provided by The William Penn Foundation. Additional funding has been provided by Dorothy H. & Martin N. Bandier, Maccarone, New York, Norma & Lawrence S. Reichlin, Lori W. & John R. Reinsberg, Stephanie K. & David E. Simon, Brett A. & Daniel S. Sundheim, and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.

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